If you've never performed in front of a large crowd let me begin by saying you're really missing out. The pure adrenaline rush you get from knowing that this performance could be the best performance of your life makes the idea of messing up worth it. When the crowd cheers because you caught the five you'd been practicing all week you can't help but feel on top of the world. Then when it's all over and the last note fades away you feel light headed and like there's nowhere else in the world you'd rather be.
Smiling I put down the huge pile of equipment I had picked up on my way off of the field and turned to find Camille and Ragnor with identical smiles on their faces. "So I'm guessing your first performance of the competitive season went well?"
"How could you possibly have guessed that Rags?"
"Elementary, my dear Maggie. You see I simply observed that you are smiling and everybody knows that smiling means you had a good run. I know I'm rather brilliant."
"I wonder how you could possibly stand to be around us simple mortals. With a brain like that you could be figuring out the answers to the world's problems."
Ragnor let out a laugh as he began rolling up one of the many flags. "I like you lowly mortals. You're good entertainment."
"Do you want me to dance for you?"
"Do you need to practice because I'm not interested in a lap dance but I'm sure Camille would be more than willing? She could critique you and everything."
"Please! I excel at lap dancing but if she needs some tips I'd be more than happy to oblige."
"If you make any indication of yes I'll beat you over the head with these sabres." Camille gave Ragnor a sickly sweet smile. "Now come along boys. I want to hurry up and load the trailer so I can watch some of the other bands who won't be as good as us."
"You're going to jinx us little girl."
"I'm just speaking the truth and the truth is never a jinx."
"I don't think you know how jinx works."
"Just hurry up Magnus I don't have all day."
"Yeah, yeah woman I'm going."
"I don't understand. Why would you want to do a show about cars? They're not fooling anybody with those thin pieces of cardboard."
"Maybe they're trying to make a statement."
"What statement would that be? Their guard isn't even together and their marching is terrible."
"Well… I don't really have an argument for that."
"Exactly because I'm right." I let out a chuckle as my boyfriend sent Simon a smug look before going back to watching some horrid band. "At least they're almost done. I'm pretty sure the Five A bands are coming up next."
"I hope Idris is here. Their show last year was absolutely amazing. You know it going to be good."
"I couldn't agree more Simon although most of their guard members are dicks."
"Where in the world did you come from? You guard people are all secretly ninjas or something."
"We travel through secret tunnels underground. There's this password you have to know but I really shouldn't be telling you this. Don't tell anyone." With a sigh I plopped down on the bench next to Alec glancing at the next band entering the field as I did so. "Hello darling. How was your run?"
"It was fantastic snookums. How was yours my little butter muffin?"
"Butter muffin? No wonder you don't have a girlfriend."
"No I don't have a girlfriend because I'm a super nerd and proud. Respect the nerd."
"Well good for you. At least you're proud of who you are. That's what counts. O, is this that band that did the red riding hood show last year with the super cool tree props?"
Alec wrapped his arms around my waist before turning his attention back to the field. "I'm pretty sure it is."
"Maybe they'll do Goldilocks this year or Alice in Wonderland or-"
"Yes we get it Magnus. They're probably doing some sort of fairy-tale."
"Why must you take the fun out of everything Alexander? It's not nice of you to ruin my fun."
"I didn't mean to now be quiet. They're about to start."
"Magnus! Where are Camille and Ragnor? You three need to meet up with the drum majors. It's time for retreat."
Sighing I stood up from my seat glancing around at the blenchers in the hopes that Camille and Ragnor were somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Luckily I spotted the two quickly and motioned for the two of them to follow me down one of the middle ramps that led to the atrium. Slowly I made my way down the ramp and leaned against the wall casually as I waited for my two lieutenants.
"What's up Mags? Are we going on an adventure to a far off land?"
"Peter Pan isn't here yet but if you want to throw on some green tights far be it from me to tell you differently." Before Ragnor could make a snarky comment I continued on talking. "We've got to meet up with the drum majors at retreat."
"Finally! The part of being a guard officer I was looking forward to the most."
"And why is that Camille?"
"I've always wanted to go down on the field and provide a beautiful visual that will wow the crowd as we receive the first place trophy."
"Well hopefully that dream will come true tonight or band practice is going to be absolute hell Monday night. Samson will probably change all of our sets and work anyways but winning first would make me feel better."
"From what I saw we were one of the more impressive guards in four A. This girl even glared at me when she saw my jacket."
"I'm sure you basked in her hateful glare. You probably enjoyed it immensely and even send her a nice perky smile."
"Is there some other reaction that would have been more suitable in that situation?"
I couldn't help but laugh at Camille's antics. "Of course not. How else could you establish yourself as the ultimate diva? That reminds me of what Samson said last year during winter guard."
"I'm still not sure whether I should take it as a compliment or an insult. I'm sure there are plenty of guys that are terrified to come up to me but I'd like to think that I can easily make friends. I don't think that I'm completely untouchable to the opposite sex."
"I don't know. If I didn't grow up with you I might have been terrified to approach you."
"You're an asshole Bane!" Camille moved to smack me on the side of the head but I managed to dodge out of the way just in time. "Hold still. You're making it hard for me to hit you!"
"Why would I voluntarily let you hit me? I'm not a masochist."
"You willingly joined guard and continue to do it despite the fact you constantly get bruises and yet you still love it. You're a masochist." Ragnor gave me a smug smile as he continued on. "I mean you got a concussion during winter guard last year and you still tried out for captain."
"If that makes me a masochist than you two are masochists."
"I'm not going to deny that fact."
"Well then it's settled. We're masochists together."
"Let's just get this over with. I'm tired and my back hurts."
"Are you three ready?" Zach was looking at Camille, Ragnor and I with a calm expression as we lined up with the three drum majors.
"As ready as we'll ever be."
"That's the spirit."
We fell into silence as the other drum majors were put into order and then waited for them to lead us onto the field. It seemed like ages before the groups in front of us began to move and in no time the six of us were making our way to our spot on the field. As soon as we were set I scanned the crowd hoping that I could spot Alec somewhere in the mass of people. Luckily, I managed to spot Alec just as he turned from Sophie to look down at the field causing our eyes to meet. He gave a small wave I had to resist the urge to return but the smile I sent him was clearly enough.
"Would you stop staring at lover boy and focus? We don't want to look like idiots when you forget to move just because you're so busy being love-struck."
"I hate you."
"What are best friends for?"
Before I could respond our school was announced and my body moved without much thinking as we carried out the salute Samson had ingrained into our heads this morning. When the announcer finished naming off all the schools he began on the different awards. I waited nervously for the "best color guard" category and when it finally came up I held my breath as I hoped desperately for our names to be called. A huge pause seemed to follow making my anticipation sky rocket. Finally, the announcer continued and I couldn't help the huge smile that erupted on my face when our school's name blared out of the speakers.
I zoned out for the rest of the categories making sure to keep an ear open just in case our school was called again but nothing came up. My focus went back to the announcer when placement started and I could feel the nervousness from all those around me as the numbers started getting smaller and smaller. When second place came up and our names still hadn't been called my breath hitched in my throat. Please, please be number one.
"In second place… Conclave Academy!" My mind began to race as the drum majors from Conclave received their trophy before moving back to their spot. "And in first place… Institute High!"
Loud cheers erupted from our section in the stands and I could see everyone is our group was beaming as we preformed our salute one last time. When we finished Zach moved to accept the trophy and score card before we were all ushered off the field. Camille, Ragnor and I linked arms as we practically skipped off of the field feeling more than a little happy about today's results.
Sighing I plopped down into the seat I shared with Alec with the sole desire of sleeping on the way home. Samson had intercepted us as soon as we exited the tunnel and immediately demanded pictures of us with the trophy. Of course this turned into a huge ordeal with many poses before Samson let us go to the buses that were already loaded and ready to leave.
"Is someone tired?" Instead of answering with words I let out a low grunt as I snuggled deeper into Alec's chest. "Well before you go to sleep I just wanted to say congratulations on getting best guard. Clearly you're doing a wonderful job."
"Thank you. I do like to be recognized for my hard work."
"How does a backrub sound as a reward for your hard work?"
"It sounds wonderful but right now I just want you to be a good little pillow and let me fall into dreamland for the hour it takes us to get home."
Before long I fell asleep to the steady rise and fall of Alec's chest as the bus began to bump along the highway that would get us back to the school. However, I was quickly pulled from my slumber when Alec's frantic voice reached my ears causing me to slowly wake up. When my eyes finally opened, I was met by sight of Alec with his phone pressed to his ear and his eyes glazed over as he made noises of understanding. Quickly I sat up and waited for Alec to hang up before giving him an expectant look.
"It was the hospital."
So sorry to leave you with a cliff-hanger like this but this is how I've planned this chapter to end so you're all just going to have to forgive me. Now just a few notes about some of the things in this chapter. Firstly, the car show was based off one of the bands I saw while I was at competition but I don't remember which band it was. Secondly, my guard director actually told me at practice one time that if he were in high school he would have been terrified to talk to me because I walk like a diva (it's how he wanted us to walk out onto the arena floor). Still not sure how I feel about that…
I'd also like to thank everyone who reviewed the last chapter. I had an amazing first day at college and have found it to be a lot more manageable than high school. My teachers are absolutely amazing. I'm proud to say that I'm taking a course on Death and the Underworld in World Literature. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON UPDATING: I plan to update every one-two weeks depending on my workload for that particular week. I try to do all my homework for the week over the weekend and in between classes so I have most of my nights free. That's all I can think of but if you have any questions feel free to PM me.